Toshiba has confirmed its plans to offer a dual-screen notebook similar to Microsoft’s Courier concept, to be added to its Libretto ultra-mobile range.

The Toshiba Libretto W100 was launched as part of the company’s 25th anniversary celebrations – its first laptop, the Toshiba T1100 was launched back in 1985 – with the company’s Phil Osaki quoted by VentureBeat as stating that the company is aiming for the back-to-school season in the US.

The Libretto W100 ditches a traditional keyboard in favour of a second display with multi-touch technology – when you want to type, an on-screen keyboard with haptic force-feedback functionality appears. It’s unlikely to be comfortable for typing long documents, but it should be no worse than typing on an Apple iPad.
Both displays are 7in and 1024×600 resolution, and can be addressed independently – it’s possible to have a web browser on one screen and a word processor on the other, for example – and used in both portrait and landscape mode.  Interestingly, despite its small size Toshiba hasn’t opted to use Intel’s popular Atom processor, instead using the more powerful 1.2GHz Pentium U5400 chips along with 2GB of RAM and a 62GB hard drive to power a full installation of Windows 7.
Sadly, Osaki has been cagey on pricing details: the current run of the Libretto W100 is to be limited, as the company wants to get feedback from a small number of users before planning a wider launch of an updated mass-produced version later in the year.

With the missus getting increasingly addicted to Guild Wars, it’s been getting harder and harder to get on my PC of an evening.  Accordingly, I have treated myself to a new toy – an Acer laptop.

The specs are reasonable, although I could have lived without Vista.  It’s taken me almost a full week to beat the thing into submission – it’s amazing how irritating Vista is when you’ve used a grown-up operating system like Ubuntu for a while.  Actually, that’s the next step – dual-boot the thing, with Vista for games (and Blu-ray playback) and Ubuntu for actually getting things done.

One thing I’ve noticed about the specifications, actually: it’s fitted with an ATI Radeon Mobility 3470 chipset, but CPU/Z shows it as a 3450.  I’m assuming this is an artifact related to the fact that I removed the crippled drivers provided by Acer and replaced them with hacked desktop drivers based around the latest Catalyst version.  The new drivers work fine – and with the performance of a 3470 – but display as a 3450.  Strange.

All complaints – and between Vista and some of the stupid things Acer has done, there’ve been a few – aside, it’s a reasonable new laptop, and it only set me back £470.

Oh, and in honour of its status in the house it’s been christened TOYBOX – after the debris recovery vessel from Planetes.